Every stripling goes through this mirror-gazing, the universal juvenile desperation to come of age. And finally the D-Day arrives. With the tangibility of the shadow above the lip qualifying for a full-fledged moustache, the teen stakes his legitimate claim to his first shaving kit, the official recognition of a boy becoming man.
Nearly 11 hours spread over three days, defying the slur of a follow on, a shoal of piranhas floating around his blade and a pack of pacers taking turns to hurl unrelenting hostility.
Most saw him grinding down the Kiwis but few noticed his simultaneous battle within, to curb his instinct, a far tougher opponent to deal with. And in the end, he won both the battles, against his aptitude and adversary.
Considering how he experienced suffering and self- mortification, Gambhir was more Gautama than Gautam in Napier.
Of course one can disagree and point out that while Gautama attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree in Bihar, Gautam’s came in an anti-podian McLean Park.
International cricket is a way too demanding business. But once he is through with the hustle and bustle, Gambhir would have time at his disposal to indulge in nostalgia. And when he skims through his immensely colourful catalogue of knocks – and he would have played quite a few of them in all formats– he would be captivated by the sheer black-and-white magic of this 137 in Napier.